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game recap

Blue Jackets shut out Sabres, move into first wild card in East

Bobrovsky makes 38 saves, Columbus wins fifth straight

by Heather Engel / Correspondent

Dubois tips in opening tally

CBJ@BUF: Dubois redirects Jones' snipe past Ullmark

Pierre-Luc Dubois tips in Seth Jones' shot from behind the circle to give the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead in the 1st period

  • 00:50 •

BUFFALO -- The Columbus Blue Jackets hold the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference following a 4-0 win against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on Sunday.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 38 saves for his NHL-leading ninth shutout for Columbus (45-30-4), which has won five in a row and moved one point ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes for the first wild card. Carolina lost 3-1 at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.

Pierre-Luc Dubois had a goal and two assists, Nick Foligno had a goal and an assist and Ryan Dzingel had two assists for the Blue Jackets.


[WATCH: All Blue Jackets vs. Sabres highlights]


Columbus has outscored its opponents 24-4 during the five-game winning streak.

"We still have a lot of work to do to try to get into a situation to get in," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "I think everybody feels good that everybody's contributing."

Linus Ullmark made 32 saves for Buffalo (31-38-10), which lost its seventh straight and was shut out for the second time in its past four games and the fifth time in its past 12.

"We were playing really well the first seven, eight minutes, then they get one and then we just sat back on our heels a little bit," Sabres right wing Kyle Okposo said. "Settle down for the second, give one up on a 2-on-1 and it's tough at that point. I don't know. I don't have all the answers right now. We have to play hard until the end."

Video: CBJ@BUF: Bjorkstrand blisters slap shot past Ullmark

Dubois gave the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead when he redirected Seth Jones' shot from the top of the circle at 7:14 of the first period.

Columbus was outshot 7-1 prior to the goal.

"After that, we dominated the game and didn't give them much," Foligno said. "A lot of their shots were from the outside, no real high danger shots. That was a pretty solid game from our group."

Oliver Bjorkstrand extended his goal streak to five games when he one-timed Dubois' pass at 13:46 to make it 2-0.

Foligno scored on a wraparound that went off Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour's stick to give the Blue Jackets a 3-0 lead at 17:47 of the first period.

"It was a great play by [Dzingel] to kind of give me a second to get to the front of the net," Foligno said. "I knew if I caught it, I'd get that goalie out of position and just try to get it on net. I think [Montour] helped me by coming back a little bit too."

Josh Anderson capitalized on a 2-on-1 with a shot from the left circle to make it 4-0 at 15:31 of the second.

"We've just got to keep fighting," Sabres coach Phil Housley said. "I thought the bench was good, even though we gave up two, then we gave up the third one. We had opportunities [when it was 2-0] to narrow that margin. We're not finding the net, we're not scoring goals."

Video: Georgiev, Kuemper, Bobrovsky earn Pepsi Zero Shutouts


They said it

"It's nice to have. I'm not going to lie, it's nice to have it, but it's most important the team success, how the team plays in front of me and how offense, defense the whole team played. That's the biggest thing for me." -- Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky on his third shutout in his past five games

"Obviously, nobody wants to lose in this city, including us. It's not like we're going out there trying to lose every single night. It [stinks] for the fans, it [stinks] for us, it [stinks] for everyone involved. ... I'm just going to keep harping on it that the only way we get out of it is competing and work ethic. We've got a few games left. Just try to come to the rink with a positive attitude and try to end on a good note." -- Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe


Need to know

The Blue Jackets have six players with at least 25 goals (Cam Atkinson, 41; Matt Duchene, 30; Artemi Panarin, 27; Anderson, 27; Dzingel, 25; Dubois, 25). … Bobrovsky's nine shutouts are one behind Steve Mason for the Blue Jackets record, set in 2008-09. … The Sabres are 1-12-2 in their past 15 games and 3-17-3 in their past 23.


What's next

Blue Jackets: Host the Boston Bruins on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVAS, NESN, NHL.TV)

Sabres: Host the Nashville Predators on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

Video: Blue Jackets blank Sabres for fifth straight win

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